Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Henry and the Paper Route

Henry and the Paper Route. Beverly Cleary. 1957/1990. HarperCollins. 208 pages.

One Friday afternoon Henry Huggins sat on the front steps of his white house on Klickitat Street, with his dog Ribsy at his feet. He was busy trying to pick the cover off an old golf ball to see what was inside. It was not very interesting work, but it was keeping him busy until he could think of something better to do.

Now that he has his bicycle, now that he's almost eleven, Henry is dreaming of only one thing. He wants a paper route. He's seen Scooter delivering papers on his route for several years now. And he's always been a little envious. He knows that he's strong enough, responsible enough, but how can he prove it to Mr. Capper? Henry finds out the wrong way that taking four kittens hidden with you in your jacket is not the best way to make a first impression with your would-be boss. But still, the dream lives on...in part encouraged by Scooter who "allows" him to help fold papers now and then. There are even a few days when Scooter lets Henry deliver his route. But a few more obstacles still stand in his way: a new neighbor named Murph and a not-so-new neighbor with a runaway imagination, yes, Ramona is back!

I enjoyed this one. I did. The chapters with Ramona were great. They definitely highlight her imaginative yet rebellious spirit. In one chapter, she's refusing to remove her monkey tail. Since Beezus and Henry are trying to collect paper for a paper drive, and since they need Ramona's wagon, they are having to deal with Ramona's temper. It isn't easy. In another chapter, Ramona has decided that she is a paper boy. She's following along behind the paper delivery route--and well, let's just say that means BIG, BIG trouble.

Other Henry Huggins books: Henry Huggins, Henry and Beezus, Henry and Ribsy.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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